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This 20 year old from England is longboarding from Paris to Madrid to fight climate change

Flickr: Erik Forsberg

THIS is what we call taking creative action to protect the planet.

Connor, a 20-year-old from the south coast of England, will be setting off next week on an epic longboarding journey from Paris to Madrid to raise awareness and funds to stop deforestation.  

How awesome is that?

Few things make us happier over at Stand For Trees than knowing that we’ve inspired individuals to take action and to feel empowered to make a difference in this world.

We got to chat with Connor briefly to discuss his upcoming adventure and his motivations for taking on this incredible challenge in the name of saving the environment.

Here’s what we discussed:

Can you tell us about the journey you will be taking?

Connor: “I will be longboarding from Paris, France to Madrid, Spain in the hopes of raising as much funds and awareness to support Stand For Trees as possible.

This trip is roughly around 1300km or 860 miles if you'd prefer. I have allowed myself 5 weeks in which to complete it, that means I have to average just over 20 miles a day.

My journey will take me across a border, over mountains, and through cities. It will be tough, but it will all be worth it for the good I know it'll do.”

What inspired you to do this?

Connor: “I have a lot of different inspirations for this trip, but I think the main one comes down to, I wanted to tie together what I believe in and my passions.

I believe that climate change is the biggest problem facing us and our world right now and we have to own up to it and face it head on if we wish to save our beautiful planet.

I want to be someone that helps, someone that doesn't turn a blind eye, someone that can say, ‘I made a positive impact.’

I also want to be able to prove to myself that you can do anything you put your mind to, that you are only limited by your own imagination.”

How will you be raising awareness about your trek?

Connor: “Raising awareness was very difficult at first. I am not the type of person to talk about myself or my interests. So when it came down to get the word out I had struggled. But, through the powers of social media, email, word of mouth and some very significant people along the way, I have been able to reach this out across various platforms.”

What are your plans after?

Connor: “My plans after the trip are to, firstly rest, thank everyone and submit my donations to Stand For Trees. 4 days later I will be off to travel Italy, starting at Naples finishing at Venice for roughly 2 weeks. After that I will be heading over to the US to teach skateboarding and be a camp counselor at Camp Weequahic in Pennsylvania.”

Anything else you would like to share with global citizens out there?

Connor: “I know it's cheesy, but I want to thank everyone that has been a part of believing in me, in getting the word out, fixing up my board, organising the troublesome parts, and of course every person that has donated. I'm excited to complete this trip and see the positive impact this has.”

We will be tracking Connor’s journey and cheering him on as he makes progress over the next five weeks. If you’re feeling inspired, global citizens, here are several things you can do to take action yourself:

1. Check out Connor’s Go Fund Me page
2. Protect a Forest today
3. Take on your own creative challenge and let us know about it!!

As Dr. Jane Goodall so perfectly said: You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of each of the partners of Global Citizen.